Latest figures from retail experts, Springboard, reveals that footfall across UK retail destinations rose by +1.1% last week from the week before, a product of rises in both high streets (+2.4%) and shopping centres (+1%) whilst in retail parks footfall dipped (-1.7%).
Footfall increased across the majority of the different town types, ranging from +2.3% in coastal towns to +11.8% in Central London, however, in more local high streets footfall declined as consumers gravitated towards larger destinations which have a more substantial dining offer (-4.1% in Outer London and -2% in Market towns).
However, it was primarily post 5pm when footfall increased in any meaningful way, with a rise of +4% across all UK high streets versus just +0.8% over the period up to 5pm. Demonstrating the attractiveness of larger destinations, the rise in footfall post 5pm was greatest in Central London and other regional cities across the UK (+16.3% in Central London and +8.5% in regional cities outside of London).
High streets in Outer London and market towns took a hit, with a decline in footfall both pre and post 5pm in both of these types of town centre; in Outer London footfall declined by -5.2% pre 5pm and -2.7% post 5pm, and in market towns the decline was -3% pre 5pm and -0.9% post 5pm.
Footfall remains -28.7% lower than the 2019 level across all UK retail destinations; but in retail parks the gap is much smaller at -6.8%, albeit this widened from -4.6% in the week before as a consequence of the -1.7% decline in footfall from the previous week.
Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, commented: “The reopening of indoor dining on Monday of last week certainly supported footfall in UK retail destinations in face of prolonged and often severe rain across virtually all of the UK for much of the week. However, it was largely high streets that benefited, where footfall rose by more than twice as much as in shopping centres and where the rise contrasted with a drop in activity in retail parks.
“Footfall rose across all types of town centre, however, there was also a clear gravitation towards larger cities away from local high streets. The greatest benefit for both high streets and shopping centres was most definitely during the evening, when the rise in footfall in each was more than four times as great as during retail trading hours.
“Despite the uplift in footfall last week from the week before, there is still significant ground to be made up as footfall across all UK retail destinations remains more than a quarter below the 2019 level. Retail parks, which didn’t see any uplift in footfall last week, remains the most resilient of the three destination types.”